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GC gives $5 million for training central conference clergy

By Vicki Brown, Special Contributor… Lay people with no theological training lead more than 800 churches in Mozambique, and that is one example of the need for the $5 million Central Conference Theological Education Fund, said Bishop Joaquina Nhanala, episcopal leader of Mozambique. General Conference 2012 approved the creation of the fund this week and […]

After prayer, gay rights protest ends

A gay rights protest on the General Conference floor today ended after bishops agreed to let an openly gay pastor offer a prayer. The Rev. Frank Wulf, a delegate from the California/Pacific Conference, was invited to the podium. “Oh God rest upon this General Conference, give us wisdom to understand, to interpret, to know each other,” he […]

Delegate hit by car returns to plenary floor

Jessica Ireland, the General Conference delegate from Iowa who was hit by a car yesterday, appeared at the plenary session today in a wheelchair. “It’s not a way to become famous,” she told delegates, who prayed for her last night. “I don’t recommend it.” The Rev. Brian Milford, also of the Iowa delegation, introduced her […]

A chat with FakeUMCDS

As Twitter takes an increasingly larger role for ongoing conversation and commentary about General Conference happenings, tweeters have seen an increasing number of “fake” twitter accounts using the hashtag #gc2012. They include FakeUMBishop, FakeUMCreporter, FakeWillimon, FakeUMdelegate and the most famous, FakeUMCDS. The Rev. Mike Baughman, special contributor to The United Methodist Reporter had the chance to […]

Divestment effort fails at General Conference

General Conference delegates today chose not to require United Methodist Church boards and agencies to divest of holdings in three companies said to profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Supporters of divestment sought to get General Conference to consider legislation, in the form of a committee’s minority report, that targeted Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions […]

Nigerian delegates following news of bombing

Nigerian delegates at General Conference are anxiously following news accounts of a bombing yesterday in their home city of Jalingo, in Taraba state, in the northern part of the country. “We are very concerned,” said John Pena Auta, a lay delegate. “My family lives there. I think they are OK, but I haven’t had any […]

Guaranteed appointment ended

General Conference delegates agreed today to end guaranteed appointment for ordained elders, a key change sought by reformers who said removing ineffective clergy must be easier. The measure passed in committee overwhelmingly. But it was amended with accountability provisions, including creation of a panel to advise the bishop on qualities needed in deciding on appointments.  Early this morning, the full […]

On the Loose: Shalom

Twenty years ago, as delegates met in Louisville, Ky., for General Conference 1992, riots broke out in Los Angeles, in angry response to the acquittal of four police officers tried in the beating of Rodney King. Delegates quickly mobilized the Shalom Initiative, a plan for congregations and communities to work together “to create a visible […]

Fashions from the Congo

General Conference attendees who are coveting the colorful attire of the African delegates have the opportunity to buy their own – and support a good cause. The Women’s Division of the United Methodist Church in the South Congo is selling an array of beautiful handmade garments and jewelry at the Cokesbury Store at General Conference. […]

A Serene Oasis

The days are long and the sessions can get stressful. So the exhibit by the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBPHB) at General Conference offered free massages for those ready for a refreshing break. Delegates and attendees could also saddle up to a table with laptops with free Internet access. “Our thought was […]